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The Hemingway Editor/App reads Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’

We let The Hemingway Editor evaluate a randomly chosen excerpt from the first chapter of Lewis Carroll’s story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The app rated the text as U.S. Grade 16 for readability, which requires a level of reading comprehension that a last-year undergraduate student might have.

This was mainly due to the length of Carroll’s sentences (not words), which are meant to evoke within the narrative the bubbly stream-of-consciousness state of Alice’s active and curious mind.

Good luck in arguing that the length of sentences makes this text (a book enjoyed by adults and children alike) “very difficult to read.”


Text used in the experiment: Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Sir John Tenniel. (first published 1865). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (The University of Adelaide web edition). Adelaide: eBooks@Adelaide, 2014.